I had a lot of fun reading bitmap’s THE RELIGION OF LOVE IN 2D: ROOTS OF MODERN OTAKU COURTSHIP, from his wonderfully titled blog Remember XVI. It compares the otaku’s 2-D complex with the romance of chivalric courtship, where the ideal maiden has a dynamic of unattainability. This unattainability may perhaps be a function of a number of things: rank, relationship status, wealth, etc. This is somehow compared to the fact that well, anime and galge characters are uh, not human, therefore unattainable.
This contributes to the tragic-romantic aspect of the relationship, making the lover “pure” whilst the object of affection is pure almost always by (character) design. This suits the otaku’s particular sense of morality just fine (I suppose). Over the past three years I indulged this “waifu” thing every so often, as it can be a fun exercise. What’s (not) surprising is how some otaku take it really seriously. Even so, it is my unscientific observation that so many of these “husbandos” fail at this purity/chivalry thing by having many waifus.
And if they’re all unattainable (by design), then doesn’t the whole exercise pierce the heavens with its pathos? Inevitably, the purity is shown up to be inauthentic, because well, otaku fap to their waifu. Also, they fap to a whole fuckton of 2D females. While I don’t think there’s anything wrong with masturbation, my point here is how the tragic-romantic idea of chivalry of otaku is mired in inauthenticity.
Harems, really. I don’t have one. Sure I remember love for Minmay and pay homage to Sheryl, but no one compares to my wife of five years, mother of our daughter. Why? It’s because for 2D characters to do anything for you, you’re really creating the event and impact out of your imagination and will. My wife makes and continues to make all the difference there is in my life. Let me count the ways:
#s 1 to 8999: Boring, Private, Real Life Stuff
No need to talk about these things in an anime blog.
#9000: We Watch Anime Together
Sure it’s been mostly Beelzebub lately, but over the years we’ve seen a lot of awesome, long series like Macross 7 and Legend of The Galactic Heroes, and even longer (but significantly less awesome) shows like The Prince of Tennis. It was good to close out the Macross Frontier sub-franchise with her this year.
#9001 She Doesn’t Just Watch Anime Because I Like It
She has her own tastes and does not mind watching shitty Animax dubs. She watches stuff I don’t really care for and vice versa. It’s all good because we are anime fans unique to each other. She’s into a lot of shounen I have zero interest in picking up, as well as a bunch of CLAMP stuff.
#9002 She Reads a Lot of Manga
Aside from the big shounen franchises, some shoujo (Nodame Cantabile, Skip Beat, etc) she also read stuff even I wouldn’t start, like all of Tetsuwan Atom, and all of Mazinger Z. This is incredible to me.
#9003 She Let Me and Our Daughter Watch Shin Mazinger Z
Like her parents before her, our kid got to watch Mazinger first. Like her parents before her, she would never really finish this show the first time, but perhaps leave enough in the imagination to remember love for it 30 years later.
I love my wife, I love my life.